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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes (Vergili, Eneida).
On June 22,1941, Russia was invaded! Attacked by Hitler, she found
herself at war with Germany. Did this mean therefore, that she joined
automatically the camp consisting of Great Britain and all those peoples of
Europe united in a common fight against the Germans? The repre-
sentatives from this camp were to be the first to yet again stretch out
a hand in friendship towards Russia, for on the very day of the attack,
Churchill broadcast one of his most significant speeches offering them the
assistance of Great Britain,
" We shall give/5 he said, " whatever help we can to Russia and to the
Russian people. We have offered to the Government of Soviet Russia
any technical or economic assistance which is in our power and which
is likely to be of service to them/' and " we shall appeal to all our friends
and Allies in every part of the world to take the same course and pursue it,"
and that " the Russian danger is . , . our danger, and the danger of the
United States,"
Churchill was inviting the Soviets to ally themselves with Britain and
appealing to the rest of the Allies to c take the same course," To some
of them, however, it was not a course which could easily be adopted.
Poland, for instance, had already suffered great wrongs at the hands of
Soviet Russia during the early days of the same war, when, together with
Hitler, she had endeavoured to eradicate the Polish Republic not only
from the map of Europe, but from the very surface of the Earth itself.
Churchill was offering support to the Soviet Union unconditionally and
without, it seemed, consulting the other Allies (towards whom England
held commitments) as to whether or not they were willing to join in this
hastily proffered support. There was no question or hint of terms in
connection with this help so freely promised, and the opportunity to
obtain a clear statement of war aims, and an explanation from Russia
regarding her attitude towards the neighbours she had so sorely misusedó
Poland and the Baltic Statesówas lost. After Churchill's speech, the
Polish Government could only ask themselves whether Russia, in accepting